Reader surveys of interest

Trolling the web is one of my favourite pastimes and I can lose myself for hours diving down one proverbial rabbit hole after another. A few days ago, I decided to search the combo of social reading and reader surveys to see what serendipity would produce.

Goodreads conducted a 2014 survey, reported in the Australian news, showing that readers read their own gender. No surprise there, really, although the ‘why’ is missing from the article. Apparently, women are also more open minded when it came to reading new books and, when rating books, both men and women rated books written by female authors higher than their male counterparts. Hmm, interesting.

source: Goodreads Slideshare presentation
source: Goodreads Slideshare presentation

What’s going on with readers today? – a presentation by Otis Chandler of Goodreads using Gone Girl and Night Circus to compare readers’ preferences. Top reasons for choosing a book: trusted friend, everyone’s talking about it, book club, Goodreads review, “best of” list, sample read. Goodreads members share 19 million books/month on Facebook. 37% of smart phone users read books on them. 31% highlight when reading an e-book.

From Commentary to Conversation: The Evolution of Social Reading – an article in Publishing Perspectives by Matteo Berlucchi, former CEO, of Anobii (now Sainsbury e-books). The key to the success of social reading is the ability to restrict the conversation to only your chosen network of people.

The Virtual Bookshelf: How online reading networks are reinventing social reading – a university thesis by Kirsten de Hoog offering many interesting points. For example, the author suggests that digital has allowed the infrastructure around reading to become “less formal and authoritative”. The author explores macro and micro reading groups and then positions the attributes of online reading groups against these two categories.

I’m finding these bits fascinating. What about you?

FOR MORE POSTS ON SOCIAL READING AS WELL AS INSIDE HISTORICAL FICTION, FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Mapping Favourite Reading Sites

Last March I reported on favourite reading sites mentioned by those participating in the latest reader survey. How do these stack up against two dimensions of social reading: (1) the degree of socializing enabled and (2) the breadth of functionality provided?

Here’s my take on it. It’s interesting to me to see the proliferation in the bottom left quadrant. 

Please note that the position of each bubble is approximate as I wanted to make sure that you could read each one.

Social Reading & Reading Sites

 

Search sites – Bing and Google for example

Industry sites – Harper Collins was mentioned

Social media – Twitter and Facebook fit in this category

Traditional – online sites created by traditional media such as The Guardian

Author sites – Elizabeth Chadwick has a popular one

Book Blogs – hundreds mentioned by survey participants

Retailers – Amazon and others

Forums – example Historical Fiction Online

Fan Sites – Diana Gabaldon has several

Reading Sites – Goodreads is the biggest one (that’s why Amazon bought it)

Open to your feedback as always.

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

 

10 Thoughts On Social Reading

It’s time to switch from ‘inside historical fiction‘ to ‘social reading‘, the second of two themes A Writer of History is exploring this year. Why am I interested? Because I want to be part of the conversation readers have with one another, with writers and with bloggers, and I want to embrace, not resist, the change that’s happening in the world of content creation.

Social Reading Landscape

To begin, I thought I would set out a few thoughts about social reading. The headline says 10, but you never know, I could come up with more.

  1. Social reading is about relationships. Readers with writers. Readers with readers. Readers with reviewers and bloggers. Writers with writers. Bloggers with bloggers. Well, you get my point.
  2. Readers expect writers to be social. As a writer, if readers want to hear from you, your books will sell. Achieving this objective requires an active, sincere, personal, content-rich social media presence.
  3. Ultimately, “the audience grows the audience”. I borrowed this line from Seth Godin who was commenting on his own digital media presence.
  4. Engagement is personal. Readers seek like-minded people. They enjoy the give and take of conversations that occur via social media and want to establish connections.
  5. Social reading is two-way not one way. Pure one-way broadcast is dead–one of the reasons why traditional book reviews are giving way to bloggers, Goodreads and other mechanisms that provide a forum for interaction.
  6. Social reading requires social listening. Readers value conversations. Good conversations involve active listening.
  7. Social reading facilitates discovery. For example, Goodreads recommendation engine suggests new books based on the books a reader has on their shelves. Data from 2013 indicates 11 million books discovered via Goodreads every month.
  8. Social reading is dynamic. It “will evolve in response to ever–changing hardware and software platforms”. Bob Stein, Institute for the Future of the Book. What works today will change tomorrow.
  9. Social reading requires trust. Trusted connections facilitate more open communications. Readers depend on trusting those who review and recommend books, with others involved in the conversations around books, with writers who participate.
  10. Social reading involves a new set of influencers. Goodreads, book bloggers, Facebook, Twitter, LibraryThing, Shelfari, Wattpad, Book Riot, Amazon, Fantastic Fiction, Paperback Swap, Book Bub are just a few of the players in the changing reading ecosystem.
  11. Social reading facilitates the shared experience of reading a book. Readers love to talk about a book they’ve read. Some do so in physical book clubs, others choose online book clubs. Such conversations enhance the book experience by bringing additional insights and varied opinions.
  12. Social reading can extend into the creation process itself. New sites like Wattpad allow readers to post suggestions chapter by chapter so writers can change what they’ve written or what they were planning to write. Some suggest that over time, the boundary between writing and reading will blur.

Twelve thoughts to start this topic off. What do you think?

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.